India's Blackout in Context

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Anand Giridharadas, "Currents" columnist for the New York Times and author of India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking, discusses the massive blackout in India, which ended yesterday, and what it says about that country's development and democracy. 


Anand Giridharadas

Comments [9]

Christopher Pouppirt from Brooklyn NY

Admittedly, this comment could get me indefinitely detained, but it is time to spill the beans after 600 million people go with out electricity in a struggling economy that sees 800 thousand people enter the workforce every month. Yes that's right, every month in India the entire population of San Francisco plus another 65,324 get a job, and guess what, they too want AC, blenders, toaster ovens and flat screen TVs just like you do. (Plug it in)

And here's the kicker... The universe is infinitely generous but the greedy electricity monopolies do not want you to know this little' tidbit. Those bastards want the world to believe that 1880's electromagnetic theory is still cutting edge. < Coughs BULLSHIT planck scale, mumbles 6 × 10^-10 joules per cubic meter, hello, Nikola Tesla > Sorry about that; I get excited so I'll summarize!

The United States Department of Defense knows how to manufacture little (shoebox sized really) devices that can power your home, more truthfully entire cities, well ok, in truth the entire population of earth. I am convinced this is all hidden from us because Big Oil, Coal, Nuclear like the status quo. Nobody can meter free-energy. So out with it Leon Panetta, U.S. Secretary Of Defense. Show us your audacity Barack Obama! It is called Disclosure!

Plausible deniability is a term coined by the CIA during the Kennedy administration to describe the withholding of information from senior officials

Aug. 01 2012 12:27 PM

"One of the world's oldest democracies" - What the what?????? 50+ years is not a long time. Look how long it took the US to get it right, and with a much smaller population. May I remind you of a little thing called the Caste system, still very much in existence. May I remind you of the British Empire. May I remind you that the British did nothing but encourage and exploit the corruption in India. This will obviously take time. What they need is more democracy and accountability not less. It's a really insidious, dangerous and facile argument to compare the "efficiency" of undemocratic China, where there is actually rampant corruption but much tighter control of information, that's all. Would you make the same arguments if it pertained to Western governments???

Aug. 01 2012 10:46 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The author made a good point about class exceptionalism, prevalent in developing countries, from Haiti to India.

The rich and the well connected tend to have their own eco-system of security, electricity, education, healthcare etc. Hence, they have less interest in supporting public infra-structure. Something that is starting to happen in this country.

Aug. 01 2012 10:45 AM
Masoesa from Brooklyn, NY

What is the connection with Enron?

Aug. 01 2012 10:45 AM
Robert from NYC

Interesting, we in NYC don't have decent public access to airports, nor do we have good roads or at least upkeep of 70 year old roads. Our infrastructure may not be as bad as India's but I think we're getting there. And like Gore Vidal, I truly am disappointed in the was this country is deteriorating culturally, socially, economically and moat assuredly politically and I don't like it either, I'm not proud of it and I find it sad when I hear people like Chris Matthews still swear this is the greatest country in the world. I don't know that that's true and I don't like it. It's all going bad and nobody's doing anything about it. We've become complaisant and accepting.

Aug. 01 2012 10:41 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

One of the biggest problems in India is the prevalence of bribery. Almost nothing gets done there without some public official or civil servant being bribed, and that means that major projects will never be completed on time because there is no one for individuals to bribe - only that the civil servants have to bribe the contractors and the contractors have to bribe the civil servants and the general public suffers.

Aug. 01 2012 10:39 AM
John A

I heard all the cyberpowers in India tend to have their own generators, GW/B
I like this - China and India are grabbing for all the cars - Meanwhile, Bloomberg is trying to get everyone on the bikes they're giving up. This would be better for our public health IMHO.

Aug. 01 2012 10:38 AM

The caller asked "how do you advance without destroying"... that's unfortunately human nature that until things are destroyed - they won't acknowledge something is wrong.

As an aside - India is a growing country. Why is this so surprising? It's called "growing pains".

Aug. 01 2012 10:33 AM
Graham Walker from Bronx

Might this be a cyber attack? China? Pakistan? Their weak power infrastructure would be an easy target.

Aug. 01 2012 10:27 AM

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